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How many Norris Trophies could/should Bourque have won?

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03-24-2015, 07:22 PM
  #1
WingsFan95
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How many Norris Trophies could/should Bourque have won?

We all know the Norris is up and down and as a Wings fan I'm still confused with Lidstrom's 7th win. That said, no man serves as much of an enigma to the award as Raymond Bourque. Playing 22 seasons in the league, he had the kind of career you might expect from Orr had he stayed healthy, as in, pure domination at the position. Of course guys like Chelios and MacInnis were great in their own right but Bourque was the most consistent. Paul Coffey is my all-time favourite player but he was an offensive defenseman with some gaping holes on defense. This is in short to say your team would be better with Bourque as your defenseman than any other player at that position during that time period.

Back to the Norris, Bourque was Runner-Up a record 6 times (shared with Park). Additionally he finished Top 4 a blistering 14 times without winning. It was the 5 of his last 7 seasons in the league that saw him knocked out of the Top 4, in 22 freaking seasons. So, how about those 14 times? Focusing on the 6 runner-up finishes:

Wilson: 31.22%
Bourque: 14.11%*

Coffey: 39.33%
Bourque: 23.99%

Leetch: 53.95%
Bourque: 18.04%

Chelios: 44.67%
Bourque: 21.57%
Murphy: 20.67% *

Chelios: 29.06%
Bourque: 28.70%*

Lidstrom: 37.22%
Bourque: 15.57%


Some interesting races when he finished 3rd:

Langway: 31.75%
Howe: 27.34% *
Bourque: 24.51%



Bolded with asterisk is who I think deserved it that year. As you can see, only two seasons I feel Bourque had a better case, but as voting goes, it could have gone another way in some other seasons. I mean, I've only listed 7 of the 14 seasons in which he finished top 4, and although some of those are indisputable, if anyone would like, they can post their opinions on some of those 4th place finishes.

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03-24-2015, 08:47 PM
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The Panther
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I think the voting was about right. I mean, Bourque might have beaten Wilson in '82, but the swing-vote normally goes to the guy who was healthy and played all the games, which Bourque didn't. Other than that one, I think the other "non-wins" are reasonable.

He still has the 4th-most Norris trophies of any D-man in history, so he's all right.

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03-24-2015, 09:24 PM
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reckoning
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I would have given it to him in 95-96. He kept the Bruins respectable while the supporting cast had become much weaker. 82 points and a plus-31 (they were minus-19 when he wasn't on the ice).

Chris Chelios 408 (22-19-9-3-1)
Ray Bourque 403 (23-16-8-7-0)

One of the rare cases where the player with the most first-place votes didn't win.

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03-24-2015, 09:28 PM
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Big Phil
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To be honest, there are about 5 or 6 times you could say Bourque could have won it and no one would have flinched. 1996 and 1993 stand out. 1982 comes to mind but it is also important to note that 39 goals that Wilson got as a defenseman is still something only Coffey and Orr bested. 1983, 1984 are others. No issue with Coffey winning it in 1985 and 1986 and then Bourque probably wins in 1989 if he played in 20 more games.

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03-24-2015, 09:39 PM
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WingsFan95
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It's just peculiar to see Lidstrom with 2 more Norris Trophies than Bourque.

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03-24-2015, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
It's just peculiar to see Lidstrom with 2 more Norris Trophies than Bourque.
This board has beaten this to a pulp, but the 1980s and 1990s when Bourque was winning his Norrises or in contention, had a deeper crop and better high end defensemen to compete against than Lidstrom had. The near consensus feeling is that if Lidstrom and Bourque swapped eras Bourque would have more than 5 and Lidstrom would certainly have much less than 7.

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03-24-2015, 09:54 PM
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dafoomie
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There's also the Hart trophy in 1990 that Bourque by all rights should've won if not for the Edmonton writers leaving him off the ballot.

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03-24-2015, 09:56 PM
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The Panther
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dafoomie View Post
There's also the Hart trophy in 1990 that Bourque by all rights should've won if not for the Edmonton writers leaving him off the ballot.
There is no evidence that Edmonton writers left him off the ballot.

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03-24-2015, 10:05 PM
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Rhiessan71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
This board has beaten this to a pulp, but the 1980s and 1990s when Bourque was winning his Norrises or in contention, had a deeper crop and better high end defensemen to compete against than Lidstrom had. The near consensus feeling is that if Lidstrom and Bourque swapped eras Bourque would have more than 5 and Lidstrom would certainly have much less than 7.
Pretty much.
Lidstrom has 1 Norris that belongs with any of Bourque's 5.
Meanwhile, Bourque has multiple non-Norris winning seasons that were better than most of Lidstrom's winning ones.
Switching time frames as was suggested IMO Bourque ends up with 8-9 and Lidstrom with 2-3.

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